Danko Sets Up Working Group to Draft Changes in Rules of Procedure

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Parliamentary Chairman Andrej Danko is preparing changes in Parliament's Rules of Procedure (Photo by TASR)

Bratislava, August 1 (TASR) – Parliamentary Chairman Andrej Danko (Slovak National Party/SNS) has set up a working group in order to prepare amendments to Parliament’s Rules of Procedure, TASR learnt on Monday.

According to Danko, the changes are necessary with regard to recent incidents in the House during debates.

Rules of procedure of more than 20 EU countries were analysed in order to draft the necessary changes, said Danko.

“Good behaviour and proper and suitable clothes should be the absolute standard of behaviour at Parliament plenary sessions,” said Danko, adding that observing the rules – such as bans on using mobile phones, consuming food or drink and recording videos in the House – is a must, and no exceptions should be made.

[Opposition OLaNO-NOVA party chairman Igor Matovic has often worn a T-shirt with the slogan ‘Fico protects thieves’ in Parliament in reference to Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer-SD). One month ago he unfurled a banner at an extraordinary session of Parliament aimed at a no-confidence motion in Interior Minister Robert Kalinak (Smer-SD) over Kalinak’s alleged interference in the Basternak tax fraud case. – ed. note]

Among the prepared changes will be a system for precisely allocating time for debates in the House. According to Danko, the idea of time limits on speeches is mainly based on practical experience, not only from Slovak parliamentary sessions, but also from many examples in history as well as current practices around the world.

“We know from history that efforts at extremely long rhetorical speeches were known as early as in the Roman Senate,” said Danko, adding that time limits on parliamentary debates are applied in Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Greece and other EU countries.

Danko wants to propose draft new Rules of Procedure to MPs right after Parliament reconvenes in September and to open the points up for debate.